Identifying links for e-resources in Talis Aspire


A common enquiry from our users is how to identify URLs for e-resources in Talis Aspire. There may be various reasons why you want to do this - perhaps a site you link to regularly is moving platform and so you need to identify links that will need updating, or you may simply want to report on the percentage of resources that are available online. Whatever the reason, any user with access to the Talis Aspire reports can quickly and easily identify the items of interest. This article walks you through the process of identifying these items.

Talis Aspire reports method:

Step 1: Using the All List Items report, you'll first need to apply filters to identify only the items of interest. For example:

  • Use the Resource Type filter to display only those types you are interested in (eg. books and chapters or websites).
  • If there's a known issue with some links which you want to correct, you may want to use the time period filter to focus just on the current time period and not worry about correcting links from previous years.

Whatever your interest, the filters will allow you to drill down to the content that's relevant to you.

Step 2: Once you've run your report, you'll need to export the report so that you can further refine the results. Click the "Export to CSV" button - this will generate a file and send a link to your inbox when it's ready for download. This will typically arrive in a few seconds, although if you've set no filters because you're wanting to view every bookmark on your tenancy then it may take a little longer.

Step 3: Once you've downloaded the CSV file, open it in a spreadsheet software such as MS Excel. Opening the CSV you'll see a spreadsheet with all the metadata from the bookmarks you've chosen to focus on.

Step 4: To identify items with the URLs you're wanting to review, look at Column X, titled "Web Address".


If you're wanting to identify a particular set of resources within your list, you'll likely need to add a filter to the column. This will allow you to specify a particular string to look for in a URL to drill down to the content that interests you. For example, you might want to identify YouTube links in your tenancy:


If a resource is using Open URL, the Web Address column may be blank, or if a URL was captured when the bookmark was created then this will still be displayed. As of July 2020 there are 4 new columns in the All List Items report relating to links - these allow you to further query the information and get a true picture of online resources in your reading lists. These new columns are: 

  • Primary Web Address — if a chapter or similar 'part' is present in a bookmark, this will be the link on the chapter tab.
  • Secondary Web Address — this will be the link on the 'whole' tab of the bookmark if there is one.
  • Online Resource Web Address — if Online Resource Source for the bookmark is 'Web Address', this will be the chosen web address.
  • Online Resource Source — shows whether the DOI, Open URL or Web Address is chosen as the source for the view online button.

Note that if a bookmark is linking via URL but the user has not selected a preference for the linking method, then the Online Resource Source column will be empty. So a snapshot of how this area of the report might appear is provided in the screenshot below.

Advanced MIS

If you have access to the Advanced MIS service, you can also identify URLs in the web_address column of the public.f_rl_items table, and could structure your query to capture only the ones of interest to you. If you're planning on reporting on this data or want to combine it with other data from Talis Aspire - for example, you might want to see how many users have clicked on links from a particular package when making a decision on whether to renew - then this method will give you richer detail about how this content is being used.

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